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Farmers not satisfied with Govt. assurance says BKU leader

India witnessed a massive farmers’ protest at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border on 2nd October. More than 25,000 protesting farmers led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) were stopped by a strong contingent of police and paramilitary forces at UP gate on National Highway 24. The farmers, including both men and women started their ‘Kisan Kranti Yatra’ on 23 September from Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Their 15-point charter of demands included increasing crop prices, unconditional waiver of loans, diminution of electricity and diesel prices and payment of sugarcane arrears, etc.

As per reports, farmers broke the barricades, which forced the police to use tear gas to disperse the crowd.  With hardly months to go for assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, the protest has put the Narendra Modi led-BJP government under extreme pressure to solve the farmers’ issue.

Determining the repercussion of the ‘Kisan Kranti Yatra’, the Home Minister Rajnath Singh soon organized meetings with the Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and other officials to talk about the farmers’ problems. Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat also met the protesting farmers and assured them that their demands will be looked into.

The government has also assured that a review petition will be filed against the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order prohibiting diesel vehicles that are 10 years old and several other measures will be taken to calm down the agitating farmers. Government also said that it would fix the minimum support prices (MSP) of rabi crops (wheat) at least 1.5 times of the production cost. It will also try to control imports of agri-items that are produced plentiful in the country. On the other hand, representatives of farmers along with UP government ministers, Laxmi Narayan and Suresh Rana held talks on various issues at Rajnath Singh’s residence. After the meeting, consent was reached on some issues. The government has agreed to some of the farmers’ demands.

BKU leader Naresh Tikait, told media that they are not satisfied with the government’s assurance adding that all important demands have not been accepted. He said their main demands of electricity and sugarcane recommendations of Swaminathan report still remain as it is. The government has also assured the farmers of bearing the costs for the repair of tractors that were damaged during the clash with police at UP-Delhi border on 2nd October.



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